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The Greenville News

Claims Against Carolina Truck Driving School

Recently hundreds of truck drivers who graduated from Carolina Truck Driving School in Charlotte, North Carolina learned that their Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs) were not valid and that they would be required to retake their CDL test. These drivers, located in North and South Carolina, received letters from their State Departments of Motor Vehicles notifying them that they would have to take the CDL test again or their licenses would be cancelled.

Each of these drivers had agreed to pay over five thousand dollars to the school in exchange for the CDL training. The school’s website promised that they would help the students obtain employment with one of the nation’s top trucking companies. It also advertised that once a driver was pre-hired by one of its approved companies the school would finance the tuition with no credit check or interest charged. The school said the training could take as little as four weeks.

Even though the school advertises that it is licensed by the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, news reports state that the school failed to comply with state and federal guidelines in administering the test and that hundreds of records were allegedly stolen by one of the school’s testers.

Drivers are now scrambling to retake their tests or face losing their current jobs as truck drivers. Some have failed the test and are now unemployed. Some drivers who retook the test were only issued restricted licenses because they retook the test in an auto transmission truck which was the only vehicle available to them.

In the meantime, drivers are having to repay the cost of the schooling. The school had created various repayment arrangements either directly to the school or through the driver’s employer. In at least one instance, the employer purportedly advanced a fifteen hundred dollar down payment to the school, and the employee signed an agreement whereby the debt would be deducted from his paycheck over an extended period of time.

It has been reported that the Carolina Truck Driving School has now closed. Apparently, it was affiliated with the Tennessee Truck Driving School and the Tampa Truck Driving School which appear to remain open. Other truck driving schools in the area offer similar schooling and in-house CDL testing. They also offer creative financing of tuition and either pre-hiring by trucking companies or guaranteed employment upon graduation and passing the CDL test.

There has been a well-documented driver shortage nationally, and many new truck driving schools have sprung up in an effort to accommodate this shortage. The quality of the education received, however, should not suffer because of the shortage of qualified drivers. Driving a large truck comes with a huge responsibility to operate one’s truck safely to protect the motoring public and also the cargo being transported.

The Carolina Truck Driving School has obligated hundreds of its students to pay over five thousand dollars each totaling over several million dollars without valid CDLs to show for it.

Many of the truck drivers have been contacting the law offices of Patrick E. Knie in Spartanburg, South Carolina seeking help with their problems. They have either paid for something they did not receive or remain legally obligated to repay the debt. Some have lost their jobs. They feel betrayed by a school in which they had placed their trust.

We, at Knie & Shealy Law Offices, have been investigating this matter and have a team of lawyers prepared to file suit on behalf of these truck drivers. Our investigation is almost complete, and we believe the school clearly breached its contract with its students. In addition to breach of contract, the school may be guilty of unfair trade practices, fraud, and misrepresentation. We are determined to obtain justice for the hundreds of truckers who suffered damages at the hands of the Carolina Truck Driving School. We are accepting cases on behalf of drivers in both states who have had to retake their CDL tests.